In her recent work Smith has often turned to fairy tales in search of dramatic female personae and alter egos. The poignant vulnerability of childhood is an underlying theme in many of her images, like this one, based on Lewis Carroll’s manuscript drawings for Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1886). The tension between young girls and animals pervades this scene as Alice struggles in a pool of her own tears with the duck, the dodo, and others. In order to represent the animals close to life-size Smith drew on the largest copperplate ULAE’s etching press could accommodate.
Gallery label from Artistic Collaborations: 50 Years at Universal Limited Art Editions, January 17–May 21, 2007.